'Landlords shouldn't kick tenants out for no reason'
THE 75,000 North Coast residents who rent their home will benefit from a proposed law to prevent landlords evicting tenants for no good reason.
According to Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre coordinator, Tenants and Advice and Advocacy Service, Maralyn Schofield, their organisation was massively underfunded has not received an increase in funding in 13 years, apart from CPI.
"We have just three tenant advocates to cover 75,000 people," she said,
"Our area spans the region from Tweed to Grafton, desperately needs more government funding to support people who need their assistance, particularly, those around domestic violence victims who are increasingly becoming homeless."
On Monday morning the Shadow Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Yasmin Catley MP, met with Ms Schofield and other staff from the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre in Lismore to discuss the ALP's push to have a 'fair go' for renters.
Ms Catley urged the New South Wales government to include rules about no-grounds evictions in a review of tenancy policy which she said was overdue.
Ms Schofield said the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre provided a vital service to vulnerable people and she said removing the ability for an unscrupulous landlord to evict a tenant will help ensure renters have the confidence to stand up for their rights.
"There is a huge lack of housing stock in the region which we also need to address," she said.
Ms Catley said people who are renting should feel secure in their home, not afraid about being evicted if they need the hot water or another item repaired.
"People shouldn't be scared to point out a broken window or a leaking tap just in case the landlord decides to turf them out," she said.
"The one continuing theme is that no-fault evictions have to end... the pendulum needs to swing back."
Ms Catley said the government needs to remove the so called 'no grounds' provisions that allows landlords to evict tenants without giving a reason.
She said if landlords did the right thing they would have no reason to fear the proposal.
"Removing the ability for a landlord to evict a tenant will help renters have the confidence to stand up for their rights," Ms Catley said.